The more than thirty-year-old copy of the VOC ship was in urgent need of maintenance, as many planks were rotten due to the leaking seams. Refurbishing the ship was a huge job, says the museum. “In all, more than fifty men worked on the ship, including a carpentry and caulking crew, painters, riggers, mastmakers, contractors and dock workers.”
The underwater hull has been made waterproof by means of an age-old technique, caulking: the old seams are filled with 500 kilos of hemp rope and finished with an alternative tar product. “A tough, lengthy job that was done entirely by hand,” says the museum. Bad wood parts have also been replaced and the ship has been given a new coat of paint. In addition, the three complete masts, the stems and the yards of the ship have been renewed. “The ship can withstand it for years to come.”
Questions about colonial history
The original East Indiaman Amsterdam left Texel in 1749 for her maiden voyage to Batavia, present-day Jakarta in Indonesia. During a storm on the North Sea it hit a sandbank, breaking off the rudder. Skipper Klump decided to let the rudderless ship strand on the English south coast. The ship was rebuilt in 1985 and has been located at the museum jetty since 1991.
Ⓒ ANP RAMON VAN FLYMEN
Now that the revamp of the Amsterdam has been completed, the Scheepvaartmuseum wants to answer questions about the broader (colonial) history of the ship. Such as: ‘Were there enslaved on board the Amsterdam? Are there any stories about migrants on board? ‘ The museum takes these questions as a starting point for creating new storylines on board the ship.
The Maritime Museum is still closed due to the corona measures. The museum does participate in the pilot with rapid tests, and it is accessible on 21, 22 and 23 April.
An update of the most important news every day during lunch.
Invalid email address. Please fill in again.